The other night, I got to thinking about some of my bloopers and blunders on this blog. Like… the early years. The wee beginnings when this blog had braces, acne, goggle glasses, and a bad perm. When I was sort of tripping over my own feet because I hadn’t quite grown into them yet.
Then I thought, duuuude. It’d be hilarious if I pulled out old photos of this blog’s massive failures for a quick trip down memory lane. I mean, we all have to start somewhere. Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of emails from some of you who are thinking of starting a blog or attempting your first DIY project (or have already started and hit a big hurdle).
And I realized now is the perfect time to bring up some of the worst projects this blog has ever seen…
The very first furniture makeover I ever attempted looked like it was crying, literally crying. Tears of spray paint. I’d found this antique style desk chair on Craigslist that was “perfect” for Robert’s office. So I figured a can of spray paint would fix it in a jiffy.
Nope! That was the day I learned primer (or at least Fusion/chalk paint) is my best friend.
In case you’re wondering, I managed to rescue it with a whole lot of sanding. 😉
But if it weren’t for that furniture flop, for my using that as a learning moment, I never would have kept going with it. And I’m so glad I did.
Because now, nothing feels better than having a paint brush in my hand.
After getting scarred by the “crying chair”, I guess I figured I hadn’t been tormented enough. Then decided to take on varnish stripper on a set of dining chairs I’d found for a steal. I’d ended up scraping a gooey mess for an entire weekend. I cried. Actually crumpled myself into a little ball on our destroyed garage floor and went all Scarlett O’Hara to swear I would never touch Citristrip again for as long as I lived.
I didn’t even take a photo of the mess because I was so upset. When I took this picture, I had no idea what horrible fate awaited me.
But the chairs survived! And so did I. You’d probably never recognize them.
Maybe this one isn’t so bad, but it’s one of those posts I look back at and shudder. I don’t know if it’s the lighting, the colors, or what, but it’s amazing to me how much of a difference two years can make.
4. The Not-So-Amazing Grey
I learned probably the most valuable lesson ever about relying on Pinterest to choose paint colors on this day. Back when I was giving Olivia’s room a paint job, I searched everywhere to find a pretty, warm gray. And I mean, Joanna Gaines can do no wrong, right? I clicked around and found a beautiful paint color she’d used in one of her designs called Amazing Grey.
Even the name has amazing in it, so it had to be good. Nope! No bueno. Just no. In the lighting of the room, it somehow took on a barfy tone. How?!
Lesson learned: paint samples rock.
Last spring, I shared all of the gory details of our concrete countertops. 5 coats of concrete, 4 packs of sanding pads, and a few pounds of dust later, we survived! Even though I was working away on those dern countertops on my 29th birthday, they ended up being completely worth it.
And hey, a good bicep workout. I am woman. Hear me sand.
6. The Blah Blah Chalkblah
I don’t think I can really blame myself for this one. The chalkboard wall was everywhere on Pinterest circa early 2014 when I decided one belonged in our kitchen. Framing it made it look much more farmhouse and less hey-look-we-have-a-big-black-wall. (Also, no one ever warns you about the chalk that will end up all over your floor.)
And… can we talk about the contrast in photography skills? Taken with the exact same camera and the exact same lens, but practice (and learnin’) makes all the difference. (I ended up sharing some of my most valuable photography tips too.)
7. The Yellow Beige Womp Womp
Yeah, I just pulled the name of this one completely out of thin air because it’s just blah. So vanilla, I can’t even come up with a creative title. When I first started working on our foyer, I think I was afraid to do anything. So I just froze and figured neutrals were safe. But here’s the thing, neutrals are pretty and all, but do it because you love the look… not because you’re scared.
It’s your house. Do what you want, what you love! Because that’s when your house will come alive.
There have been other fails too, but now I’m kicking myself for not taking pictures of them because in hindsight they are HILARIOUS! Like once, Robert and I built a chicken wire pendant light that ended up looking like a hideous chicken coop floating and spinning above our kitchen table.
And I attempted to reupholster a French Bergere chair that ended up being such a disgusting mess, that I threw away the entire thing. (Apparently, chairs and I have really rocky relationships.)
There are days I still feel like I’m wingin’ it at this blogging and designing thing, but in a way, that’s also great. Being unsure just makes you open to learning and growing and discovering you are capable of so much more than you ever thought possible.
It all starts with a few mistakes, maybe a couple of total fall-on-your-face fails, and a willingness to keep pushing yourself to make you realize that you never would have learned if you had given up in the beginning.